Deploying Customer Excellence

Customer excellence gathers customer feedback using different forms of listening posts, which can include surveys, interviews, social media, and collecting information at customer touch points. This information is incorporated into modifications to products and services as well as operations to increase customer satisfaction. The specific ways in which customers should be engaged are integrated into an organization’s customer experience strategy. This strategy varies by industry and market segment.

The first step for deployment is for leadership to develop a customer strategy. It is also important to proactively gather information on customer needs, value elements by market segment, and translate these into requirements with prioritization. Customer needs can be described as basic, performance, and value. Basic needs are specific to the industry in that all competitors provide them to customers. Performance needs differentiate competitors relative to price, quality, or time. Value elements vary by market segment and describe how customers value price, speed, utility, functionality, and the relative importance of products and services. This information is translated into the design of products, services, and supporting processes to increase customer satisfaction.

Summary

Organizational change requires embracing change based on opportunities to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency as well as customer satisfaction to increase competitiveness. Change is difficult to implement in any organization. To change an organization, new behaviors need to be practiced until they become daily routines. The goal is to increase the percentage of people using the new tools and methods that are introduced by programs or initiatives. Initiatives need to be strategically aligned and provide benefits relative to the committed resources. Initiatives that do not create observable business benefits fall into disuse. For this reason, it is important to measure the cumulative benefits of an initiative by type, impact, and other relevant criteria against goals.

Corporate culture significantly impacts an organization’s operational performance, positively or negatively. Culture is difficult to change for various reasons. A problem with asking organizations to change the way they do things is that they achieved success based on current paradigms and culture. Unless an organization can see the value in changing its way of doing things, they will not undertake a major change initiative. Operational improvements change processes to close performance gaps. This provides benefits from new technology, tools, and methods that change the way work is performed. Numerous cultural studies show successful change initiatives have key success factors. John P. Kotter and similar researchers have described them. Adaptable organizations can more easily change because their culture also embraces facilitation tools that enable efficient change. Because change is normal, the adaptable organization is highly trained in methods to understand, plan, and execute new ways to work. Facilitation brings people together to develop broad consensus on the best ways to investigate opportunities, quantify benefits, and develop competitive solutions. These are learning organizations. Although any organization may have some barriers to change, facilitation removes these. Barriers are associated with current success, lack of time and resources, and other factors. Initiatives need to be periodically evaluated to maintain their effectiveness. A potential problem occurs if they are deployed independently of other initiatives and compete for scarce resources. There may also be overlapping tools and methods that can create confusion. To avoid competition and confusion between initiatives, it is common to link them under an umbrella initiative known as operational excellence (ОРЕХ), which is used to coordinate and prioritize projects and resources.

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